Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’

Have You Thanked Allah?

// June 9th, 2009 // 1 Comment » // Blog

I was e-mailed the following by a friend, and thought it contained some great bite-sized chunks of wisdom.

Have You Thanked Allāh?
by Imâm Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

Salmân al-Fârsî radhiyAllahu anhu said:
“There was a man who was given many of the luxuries of this world, and then they were taken away from him. But he continued to praise and thank Allâh until everything had been taken from him, even his bed. And then he still praised and thanked Allâh. Another man, who had also been given many of the luxuries of this world asked him, 'What are you praising and thanking Allâh for?' The man said, 'I am praising and thanking Him for blessings which, if others asked me to give them to them in return for all that they have, I would never give them up.' 'What can they be?' asked the second man. 'Can't you see?' asked the first man. 'I have my eyesight, my tongue, my hands, my feet…'”

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Marshmallows: A Metaphor For Jannah?

// May 25th, 2009 // 5 Comments » // Blog

A TED video explaining how self-discipline can lead to success. Warning: the following film contains hilarious clips of kids trying their hardest not to eat free marshmallows. Wear some waterproof pants, if possible!

Dude! Bacteria Are, Like, Democratic?

// April 15th, 2009 // 8 Comments » // Blog

Watching this video reminds me of why I love Biology so much. I'd kinda forgotten during the malaise of my PhD. But I really do love scientific discovery.

If you made it to the end of the video: that's a traditional thing among Biologists when they give presentations; they usually big up the rest of their lab via a group photo. See how many people were working on just ONE biochemical pathway? Admittedly, it's a fascinating one, with potentially huge implications; so I doubt Dr Bassler has any problem finding the funding to hire so many eager PhD students and young postdocs.

During my PhD, the neighbouring lab group that shared our floor was largely focussed on researching one gene. I regularly observed the individual team members pairing off to converse about their latest findings, generating new ideas along the way. In contrast, every member of our group was working on a separate pathway, with little crossover between us. Well, I did have another PhD student researching the same gene set as me: but she wasn't one for sharing, unfortunately.

I never really had anyone to bounce ideas off of during my project. I had plenty of people to turn to for technical assistance, but not inspiration. I have learnt that if am not sufficiently inspired, then I become very inefficient in my duties. You don't go into something as dynamic as scientific research for it to then become one big chore. I may as well return to working as a till girl at the local supermarket: the pay is comparable, and I'd have a far more healthy social life.

Watching the video reminded me of why I love Biology… but also, why I love working with people who love Biology as much as I do. I don't know if I'll ever return to working in a laboratory – but it's nice to know that some loves are more constant than others.

Viva Palestina Have Reached Gaza!

// March 9th, 2009 // 4 Comments » // Blog

Viva Palestina Update
15.30 (GMT) Monday 9th March 2009


And they entered side by side like heroes, some on foot some in their vehicles, tears, smiles, hugs, flowers. It was historic, it was legendary. Gaza we are here. We have fulfilled the promise – Viva Palestina! The lifeline from the people of Britain to you, the people of Gaza, has arrived.

We have broken the barriers, we have opened closed borders, we have defied the odds,we have overcome the challenges across thousands of miles and three continents. We are here to be with you, to embrace you, to share your tragedy with you.

After another morning of intense negotiations, a deal was reached to allow all of the members of the convoy to go through. In the end, Viva Palestina had to make the sacrifice of agreeing that some vehicles will have to cross the border from the Al Ouja Israeli controlled crossing point. This includes our mascot, the fire engine and the boat. This was due to the restrictions imposed by Egyptian law governing the Rafah Crossing.

A tearful Talat Ali told me that 'Rafah is the most beautiful crossing in the world', he also said that the time , effort and sacrifices put in by all the Viva Palestina family meant that history has been made today – on the day the prophet Mohammed (PBUH) was born.

George Galloway made an emotional speech thanking the people of Gaza for the wonderful reception and assuring them that for Viva Palestina and in our millions, “WE ARE ALL PALESTINIANS!” George also reiterated that the people of Palestine have voted and that their voice should be respected.

Today the convoy will head along the Salah Eddine road towards Gaza City witnessing along the way the destruction and death caused by the Israeli war machine. Along the way they will be greeted by the people of Gaza who will know that Viva Palestina is here and that they will NEVER BE ALONE.

Farid Arada

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New Theme – Already?

// February 25th, 2009 // 5 Comments » // Blog

Update (26/02/2009): My new theme has been temporarily retracted considering that it is PNG-heavy, and some people are still using Internet Explorer versions 6 and below, which have no-PNG support. I am looking for a quick fix that doesn't involve me designing a special IE<6 site!

It's been approximately two days since I launched the all new site – and already an updated template?

The few readers who knew me back when I started blogging on Blogger over two years ago, will remember how much (and how frequently) I loved to redesign my blog. Moving to denied me that luxury (though it did mean I had more time to spend on useful activities).

Now I have upgraded to a self-hosted blog, the opportunity for my behind to form a near-symbiotic relationship with the computer chair, as I spend countless hours wading through a maze of CSS stylesheets and incomprehensible PHP files, has finally been returned to me. Good thing I finished my PhD already, huh?

In this latest case of design fever, inspiration came from a doodle I drew on my iPod Touch:

Expect more drastic changes, whenever I feel bored and/or inspired!

Celebrating the Prophet’s Birthday

// February 23rd, 2009 // 7 Comments » // Blog

Something new that I learnt today, from the lips of Sh. Yasir Qadhi, during an AlMaghrib Q&A session…

It's not actually an innovation to celebrate the Prophet's birthday, sallalahu 'alayhi wa salam. It just depends on the manner in which you do it:

Abu Qatada Ansari (Allāh be pleased with him) reported that Allāh's Messenger (peace be upon him) was asked about fasting on Monday, whereupon he said: “It is (the day) when I was born and revelation was sent down to me.” [Sahih Muslim]

Thus, according to the sheikh, the Prophet actually 'celebrated' his own birthday every week – by fasting Mondays!

So, if you're looking to mark the blessed occasion, that's the Sunnah way to do it. And Allāh knows best.


Update (11/03/2009): The sheikh has posted an article regarding the Mawlid on

Happy Valentine Palestine

// February 14th, 2009 // 9 Comments » // Blog

Let's forget the halality or haramity of Valentines Day for a moment. Today, true love was in the air at Hyde Park.

That was the departure point for the Viva Palestina convoy, who are now all on their way to Ramsgate, from where they will begin their long journey to Gaza.

I didn't expect it, but I was quite overcome by emotion at times: both with joy, as well as a happy kind of sadness. My heart was genuinely moved by the people around me. We should all thank Allāh for allowing us to witness such devotion and selflessness. Alhamdulillah. In fact, such were my feelings, that I was sufficiently motivated to come down to the Apple Store, just so I could blog about it!


Lesson Learnt

// January 13th, 2009 // 1 Comment » // Photos

January 3rd, 2009: Photos from the recent demo in Trafalgar Square, which attracted tens of thousands of protesters.

During that particular rally, the organizers announced over the loud speakers that an even bigger march was planned for the following week; this time starting in Hyde Park, and ending at the Israeli Embassy in High Street Kensington.

I'll admit: I was a little pessimistic. (more…)

No Surprise To Me

// December 2nd, 2008 // 8 Comments » // Blog

I'll admit: when I am upset, I don't always turn to the right places for comfort. The kitchen is usually my first port of call. Sometimes sleep. Sometimes friends.

But what happens when your stomach doesn't fill?

And your brain refuses to switch off?

And friends don't pick up the phone?



// November 8th, 2008 // 12 Comments » // Blog

Sometimes, it feels like there sits a rock where your heart should be…

But God says:

Even after that, your hearts became as hard as rocks, or even harder;

For there are rocks from which streams spring out,

And some from which water comes when they split open,

And others which fall down in awe of God:

He is not unaware of what you do.

Holy Qur'an 2:74

Perhaps emotional anguish creates the cracks within a stony heart,

from which purifying rivers burst forth?

Perhaps it is the only way for rocks,

caged within steel ribs,

to be humbled;

that they may fall down,


in awe of their Lord.

If so…

Allahu akbar for a broken heart.